And he answered him to never a word; so that the governor marveled greatly.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Marvelled greatly - Wondered exceedingly, or was much surprised. He was probably more surprised that he bore this so meekly, and did not return railing for railing, than that he did not set up a defense. The latter was unnecessary - the former was unusual. The governor was not accustomed to see it, and was therefore greatly amazed.
It was at this time that Pilate, having heard them speak of Galilee Luke 23:5, asked if he was a Galilean. Having ascertained that he was, and being probably desirous of freeing himself from any further trouble in the affair, under pretence that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent Jesus to Herod, who was then at Jerusalem attending the feast of the Passover, Luke 23:6-12. Herod, having examined him, and finding no cause of death in him, sent him back to Pilate. Pleased with the respect which had been shown him, Herod laid aside his enmity against Pilate, and they became friends. The cause of their friendship does not appear to be at all that they were united in opposing the claims of Jesus to be the Messiah, but the respect which Pilate had shown in sending Jesus to him.
For the exposition, see on Lu 23:1-25; Joh 18:28-40.Mark 15:3-5. These things were before Pilate went out to the people, and told them that he found no fault in him at all, and offered to release Barabbas unto them. Then seemeth to me to follow in order what we have in Luke 23:5-17, in these words: And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place. The constant charge which, we shall observe, was laid upon all the ministers of the gospel from Christ’s time. Tertullus the Roman advocate thus charged Paul, &c. When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time. After the death of Herod the Great, who died soon after our Saviour was born, (as we heard before), the sceptre departed from Judah, there were no more kings. The government of Jewry was turned into a tetrarchy, divided into four provinces, each of which had a governor, who was called the tetrarch of that province. You have the division and the names of the tetrarchs, Luke 3:1, where you will find that Herod was tetrarch of Galilee. Our Saviour being taken within the jurisdiction of Pilate, it seemeth not to have been necessary for Pilate to have sent him to Herod, but a compliment to satisfy his curiosity. For, saith Luke, when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves. This is now all historical, and hath in it nothing difficult. Christ had spent most of his time in Galilee, (which was Herod’s tetrarchy), though Herod had not seen him, yet he had heard much of him, and had the curiosity to desire to see him, hoping that our Saviour would have wrought some miracle before him. But he failed in his expectation. He propounds several questions to him. Our Saviour being not before a proper judge, answereth him nothing. So as there was nothing done, only the chief priests and scribes followed him with incessant clamours. Herod and his guard vilify and mock him, put him on a gorgeous robe, and send him back to Pilate. All the effect of this was, Herod was pleased with Pilate’s compliment, and from that day was reconciled to Pilate, though there had been a former enmity betwixt them; only, as we shall hear hereafter, Herod decreeing nothing against Christ, Pilate made some use of it, in his endeavours to have delivered our Saviour.
insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly; that a man, who at other times had such fluency of speech, and readiness of expression, who both for matter and words, and also weight and authority, spake as never man did: and who had so often silenced the Scribes and Pharisees, men of the greatest learning among the Jews, of which Pilate, doubtless, had knowledge, should say nothing in his own defence; and especially when the charges brought against him were of a capital nature, and touched his life, and yet were so easy to be refuted, and proved to be false ones: and what might increase his wonder, was, that he should take no notice of them, nor return an answer to them, considering by whom they were brought; not by the common people, but by the sanhedrim of the nation, and that before him the Roman governor, who had power to crucify or release him: and above all, he marvelled at the patience of Jesus, that he could hear such notorious falsities, and which so affected his character, and his life, and say nothing to them; and at the fortitude of his mind, at his being so regardless of his life, and fearless of death.And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 27:14 Πρὸς οὐδὲ ἓν ῥῆμα] intensifying the force of the expression: to not even a single word, i.e. to not even a single inquisitorial interrogative. The silence mentioned in Matthew 27:12; Matthew 27:14 comes in after the examination reported in John 18:37.
ὥστε θαυμάζειν] convinced as he was of the innocence of Jesus, he was all the more at a loss to understand the forbearance with which He maintained such sublime silence.Matthew 27:14. καὶ οὐκ ἀπεκρίθη: still no reply, though no disrespect to the governor intended.—ὤστε θαυμάζειν, etc., the governor was very much (λίαν, at the end, emphatic) astonished: at the silence, and at the man; the silence attracting attention to the Silent One.—A new type of Jew this. The result of his observation is a favourable impression; how could it be otherwise? Pilate was evidently not alarmed by the charge brought against Jesus. Why? Apparently at first glance he saw that the man before him was not likely to be a pretender to royalty in any sense that he need trouble himself about. The σὺ in an emphatic position in Matthew 27:11 suggests this = You the King of the Jews! Then there was nothing to bear out the pretension: no position, prestige, wealth, following; no troops, etc. (Grotius).Matthew 27:14. Πρὸς οὐδὲ ἕν ῥῆμα, not to one word even) i.e. as far as concerned answering the Jews concerning the kingdom. He afterwards once answered Pilate concerning another matter, John 19:11.—ὥστε θαυμάζειν τὸν ἡγεμόνα λίαν, so that the Procurator marvelled greatly) For no one is wont to remain silent when his life is at stake, especially after he has once begun to speak.Verse 14. - To never a word (pro\ ou)de\ e%n ῤῆμα, not even to one word). He made no reply to a single one of the accusations die; he was a willing sacrifice; so he acted as his prophet had foretold, "He opened not his mouth" (Isaiah 53:7). Marvelled greatly. The Roman governor in all his experience had never beheld such calm resigntion, such unshaken equanimity, such intrepid resolution in the face of death.
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